Dave’n’Saj part 3: Indian ceremony

8 September, 2009

On the second and altogether more mysterious day of the wedding, Ax and Charlotte disappeared and returned looking the part, and we loitered about in the bar with no idea what was about to happen.

The word went out: Dave’s here! The car door opened, the drums started up, and Dave was escorted in a big colourful dancing procession through the conference centre* to a room big enough for all 700 guests and taken as far as the big arch.

Whereupon, and I refer to my programme at this point, “several small ceremonies are then performed…”

…and Dave was carried enthusiastically into the mandap, where Saj’s parents washed his feet and hid his chair from Saj’s with a curtain. And we waited.

A distant drumming announced Saj’s arrival. The procession carried Saj into the mandap, where her parents washed her feet and the curtain was removed to symbolise the removal of barriers between the two families.

... looking even more awesome than yesterday

Saj arrives

Gradually, those of us unfamiliar with such things figured it out: unlike at an English wedding, you are not expected to sit quietly and politely and watch the whole thing. It goes on for hours, so you get up, wander about, have a chat, get a drink, investigate the fruit buffet, come back and watch some more… it’s very relaxed, at least for the guests. Saj and Dave, meanwhile, performed the rituals and vows to complete their marriage.

... signifying acceptance of each other as lifelong partners.

Exchanging garlands of fresh flowers

Saj won the who-can-sit-down-first-after-walking-around-the-fire game. This means that in their house, she wears the trousers 😉

... before walking around it four times

Feeding the sacred fire

Many hours (and photographs) later, the ceremony was complete. Dave and Saj are now extremely married; congratulations and best wishes to you both 😀

* to the bewilderment of the other people who were there for ordinary conferences

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